Skip to main content

Salicylic Acid (SA) Induced Alterations in Growth, Biochemical Attributes and Antioxidant Enzyme Activity in Faba Bean (Vicia faba L.) Seedlings under NaCl Toxicity


In the present study we tried to evaluate the effect of salicylic acid (SA) in alleviating the negative effects of salinity stress. NaCl stress (50 and 100 mM) declines the shoot and root length and maximum decrease was observed at 100 mM concentration of NaCl. Similarly shoot dry weight decreased by 57.14% and root dry weight by 67.24% with 100 mM NaCl stress. The pigments and leaf relative water content (LRWC) were also observed to decline with increase in NaCl concentration. However, supplementation of SA to NaCl stressed seedlings showed enhanced length and dry weight of shoot and root. The pigment and LRWC also increased by the application of SA in the present study. NaCl stress also enhanced proline and glycine betaine (GB) by 3.01 and 2.04 folds, respectively; further enhancement was recorded by the application of SA. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde (MDA) content also showed rise in accumulation, however, seedlings treated with SA and NaCl (100 mM + SA) declines the H2O2 accumulation to 1.90 from 2.45 folds and MDA to 1.69 from 2.34 folds over the control. Antioxidants were observed to increase with NaCl concentration and further increase was recorded by the application of SA. Indoleacetic acid (IAA) and indole butyric acid (IBA) decreased by 36.60 and 44.16%, respectively, and ABA increased by 750% with 100 mM NaCl. Addition of SA to NaCl stressed seedlings enhanced the IAA and IBA and decreased the ABA concentration to appreciable level. NaCl is also responsible for the higher accumulation of Na+ and Na+/K+ ratio and decreased uptake of Ca2+ and K+. Supplementation of SA decreased the Na+ accumulation and enhanced the uptake of Ca2+ and K+ in NaCl stressed seedlings. In conclusion, SA supplementation mitigates the negative effects of NaCl toxicity in faba bean seedlings through the modulation of different osmoprotectants, antioxidants and nutrients uptake.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.



ascorbate peroxidase




days after treatment


glycine betaine


glutathione reductase


salicylic acid


leaf relative water content


  1. 1.

    Ahmad, P., Hashem, A., Abd-Allah, E.F., Alqarawi, A.A., John, R., and Egamberdieva, D., Role of Trichoderma harzianum in mitigating NaCl stress in Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L.) through antioxidative defense system, Front. Plant Sci., 2015, vol. 6, p. 868.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Ahmad, P., Abdel Latef, A.A., Hashem, A., Abd-Allah, E.F., Gucel, S., and Tran, L.S.P., Nitric oxide mitigates salt stress by regulating levels of osmolytes and antioxidant enzymes in chickpea, Front. Plant Sci., 2016, vol. 7, p. 347.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Ahanger, M.A. and Agarwal, R.M., Potassium up-regulates antioxidant metabolism and alleviates growth inhibition under water and osmotic stress in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), Protoplasma, 2017, vol. 254, no. 4, pp. 1471–1486. doi 10.1007/s00709-016-1037-0

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Khan, M.I.R., Asgher, M., and Khan, N.A., Alleviation of salt-induced photosynthesis and growth inhibition by salicylic acid involves glycine betaine and ethylene in mung bean (Vigna radiata L.), Plant Physiol. Biochem., 2014, vol. 80, pp. 67–74.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Ahmad, P., Nabi, G., and Ashraf, M., Cadmiuminduced oxidative damage in mustard [Brassica juncea (L.) Czern. & Coss.] plants can be alleviated by salicylic acid, S. Afr. J. Bot., 2011, vol. 77, pp. 36–44.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Kaya, C., Kirnak, H., Higgs, D., and Saltali, K., Supplementary calcium enhances plant growth and fruit yield in strawberry cultivars grown at high salinity, Sci. Hortic., 2002, vol. 93, pp. 65–74.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Borsani, O., Valpuesta, V., and Botella, M.A., Evidence for a role of salicylic acid in the oxidative damage generated by NaCl and osmotic stress in Arabidopsis seedlings, Plant Physiol., 2001, vol. 126, pp. 1024–1030.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Hiscox, J.T. and Israelstam, G., A method for the extraction of chlorophyll from leaf tissue without maceration, Can. J. Bot., 1979, vol. 57, pp. 1332–1334.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Bates, L., Waldren, R., and Teare, I., Rapid determination of free proline for water-stress studies, Plant Soil, 1973, vol. 39, pp. 205–207.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Grieve, C.M. and Grattan, S.R., Rapid assay for determination of water soluble quaternary ammonium compounds, Plant Soil, 1983, vol. 70, pp. 303–307.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Smart, R.E. and Bingham, G.E., Rapid estimates of relative water content, Plant Physiol., 1974, vol. 53, pp. 258–260.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Velikova, V., Yordanov, I., and Edreva, A., Oxidative stress and some antioxidant systems in acid rain-treated bean plants: protective role of exogenous polyamines, Plant Sci., 2000, vol. 151, pp. 59–66.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Heath, R.L. and Packer, L., Photoperoxidation in isolated chloroplasts. I. Kinetics and stoichiometry of fatty acid peroxidation, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 1968, vol. 125, pp. 189–198.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Dionisio-Sese, M.L. and Tobita, S., Antioxidant responses of rice seedlings to salinity stress, Plant Sci., 1998, vol. 135, pp. 1–9.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Bradford, M.M., A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein using the principle of protein–dye binding, Anal. Biochem., 1976, vol. 72, pp. 248–259.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Van Rossum, M.V., Alberda, M. and van der Plas, L.H., Role of oxidative damage in tulip bulb scale micropropagation, Plant Sci., 1997, vol. 130, pp. 207–216.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Luck, H., Catalases, in Methods of Enzymatic Analysis, Bergmeyer, H.U., Ed., New York: Academic, 1963, pp. 885–894.

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Nakano, Y. and Asada, K., Hydrogen peroxide is scavenged by ascorbate-specific peroxidase in spinach chloroplasts, Plant Cell Physiol., 1981, vol. 22, pp. 867–880.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Foyer, C.H. and Halliwell, B., The presence of glutathione and glutathione reductase in chloroplasts: a proposed role in ascorbic acid metabolism, Planta, 1976, vol. 133, pp. 21–25.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Kusaba, S., Kano-Murakami, Y., Matsuoka, M., Tamaoki, M., Sakamoto, T., Yamaguchi, I., and Fukumoto, M., Alteration of hormone levels in transgenic tobacco plants over-expressing a rice homeobox gene OSH1, Plant Physiol., 1998, vol. 116, pp. 471–476.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Ahmad, P., Hakeem, K.R., Kumar, A., Ashraf, M., and Akram, N.A., Salt induced changes in photosynthetic activity and oxidative defense system of three cultivars of mustard (Brassica juncea L.), Afr. J. Biotechnol., 2012, vol. 11, pp. 2694–2703.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Ashraf, M.A., Ashraf, M., and Ali, Q., Response of two genetically diverse wheat cultivars to salt stress at different growth stages: leaf lipid peroxidation and phenolic contents, Pak. J. Bot., 2010, vol. 42, pp. 559–566.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Karlidag, H., Yildirim, E., and Turan, M., Salicylic acid ameliorates the adverse effect of salt stress on strawberry, Sci. Agric., 2009, vol. 66, pp. 180–187.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Li, T., Hu, Y., Du, X., Tang, H., Shen, C., and Wu, J., Salicylic acid alleviates the adverse effects of salt stress in Torreya grandis cv. merrillii seedlings by activating photosynthesis and enhancing antioxidant systems, PLoS One, 2014, vol. 9: e109492.

    Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Szepesi, A., Csiszar, J., Bajkan, S., Gemes, K., Horvath, F., Erdei, L., Deer, A.K., Simon, M.L., and Tari, I., Role of salicylic acid pre-treatment on the acclimation of tomato plants to salt and osmotic stress, Acta Biol. Szeged., 2005, vol. 49, pp.123–125.

    Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Csiszar, J., Horvath, E., Vary, Z., Galle, A., Bela, K., and Brunner, S., Glutathione transferase super gene family in tomato: salt stress-regulated expression of representative genes from distinct GST classes in plants primed with salicylic acid, Plant Physiol. Biochem., 2014, vol. 78, pp. 15–26.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Sakhabutdinova, A.R., Fatkhutdinova, D.R., Bezrukova, M.V., and Shakirova, F.M., Salicylic acid prevents the damaging action of stress factors on wheat plants, Bulg. J. Plant Physiol., 2003, special issue, pp. 314–319.

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Hashem, A., Abd-Allah, E.F., Alqarawi, A.A., Al Huqail, A.A., Egamberdieva, D., and Wirth, S., Alleviation of cadmium stress in Solanum lycopersicum L. by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi via induction of acquired systemic tolerance, Saudi J. Biol. Sci., 2015, vol. 23, pp. 272–281.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Egamberdieva, D., Alleviation of salt stress by plant growth regulators and IAA producing bacteria in wheat, Acta Physiol. Plant., 2009, vol. 31, pp. 861–864.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Ghodrat, V., Rousta, M.J., and Tadaion, M.S., Effect of priming with indole-butyric acid (IBA) on germination and growth of wheat under saline conditions, Int. J. Agric. Crop Sci., 2012, vol. 4, pp. 289–292.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to P. Ahmad.

Additional information

The article is published in the original.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ahmad, P., Alyemeni, M.N., Ahanger, M.A. et al. Salicylic Acid (SA) Induced Alterations in Growth, Biochemical Attributes and Antioxidant Enzyme Activity in Faba Bean (Vicia faba L.) Seedlings under NaCl Toxicity. Russ J Plant Physiol 65, 104–114 (2018).

Download citation


  • Vicia faba
  • lipid peroxidation
  • antioxidants
  • osmolytes
  • salicylic acid
  • salinity stress